Academic journal article Journal of Singing

Four Poems

Academic journal article Journal of Singing

Four Poems

Article excerpt

Four Poems by Sylvia Plath (from Ariel), Op. 104. Soprano.

1. "Morning Song." C major; E^sub 5^-A^sub 5^; Tess: M-mH; 4/4, Fast Medium; V/M, P/M; 4 pages.

3. "Sheep in Fog." A minor; A^sub 4^-G^sub 5^; Tess: M; 4/4, Slow; V/M, P/mE; 2 pages.

These strange poems that speak of birth and death seen through a mind not quite in sync with itself offer clear imagery for the composer's pen. In "Morning Song," Mitchell has matched the sense of the passage of time with a repeated eighth note figure in the piano part swinging back and forth from G to A in the right hand and as afterbeat major seconds in the left. This figure expands into an ascending two sixteenths-eighth figure in the left hand under quarter note oscillation between C and D in the right hand, dissolving further into sustained chords preceded by a light upward arpeggio where the text becomes interior reflection. The time motive returns with the description of waking at night to feed the new child ("Your mouth opens clean as a cat's. …

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